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Winter Itch - Owam Bandile Ntlemeza

Blood marring my fingertips

My nails blush out

To cancel out the overwhelming contrast

Of vermilion crowns

Anointed by the scrape,

Through the plots’ crust

Nicks tilling the land as if

Plentiful spring shall burst forth in strands

In strands coming together in curls

As ruby moisture is exhaled on the cuticle


An inhale is registered

In the form of an itch

Which just prompts the bloodied shovels to dig

And dig they do

Past raw feelings

And into the white skeletal



Which shows one the depth of six feet

And ruptures the serenity of the scalp,

Ruining the chances

Of spring ever coming again……

Meet 2nd Place Winner - Owam Ntlemeza

From Uitenhage, South Africa.

" Lighting the candle of others won’t blow yours out " - Al